It's been said that we are in the golden age of television because of the sheer volume, variety and availability of programming on broadcast networks, cable and streaming services. And yet, TV fans still must suffer through the stress of waiting for their favorite shows to be renewed and the consequent gut-punch of grief when they aren't.
Thanks to social media, fans have a direct line to show’s creators, writers and stars, and fans are fighting back.
If you ask most TV fans and critics, they will say that NBC's feels factory, This Is Us, is the best new show of the season (after this week's episode, "Memphis," I might agree with you). For this Small Screen Girl, it was Dan Fogelman's other creation, Fox's Pitch. Centered on Ginny Baker, the first female MLB baseball player, the show's first and depressingly short 10-episode season offered a stellar, inclusive cast, fantastic writing, and gutsy, nuanced performances from breakout star Kylie Bunbury, a fantastically bearded Mark-Paul Gosselaar and supporting cast.
Despite it all, a second season is not guaranteed.
Thanks to a competitive Thursday night timeslot and a shoddy promotion on the network’s part, Pitch was a rave with critics and core fans but struggled in the live ratings. When the season officially ended in December, it had yet to be renewed, though the network claimed to be "very proud" of the show.
Fox execs are waiting until May to decide its fate while Bunbury has become one of Hollywood’s hottest commodities. Letting Bunbury out of her contract would be as shrewd as the Red Sox trading Babe Ruth.
However, if there’s anything more American than baseball, it’s the love of the underdog. Pitch has scored in the hearts of diehard fans, some of which have mobilized their efforts in order to secure a season 2 renewal.
The Pitch Street Team has spearheaded a campaign to get the show renewed, because they feel that Pitch is fresher than anything on television and have found a "shero" in Ginny Baker. She is “an elite athlete…and at the same time so many of the things most of us actually are. She’s flawed, vulnerable, goofy and at times struggling with imposter syndrome,” Kelci, an organizer from The Pitch Street Team, said.
The Pitch Street Team encourages fans to send specially designed postcards or letters Fox and MLB executives and advertisers to encourage a renewal. Their ballsy efforts have not gone unnoticed, catching the attention of USAToday.com.
To paraphrase Ginny's father, they ain’t done nothing yet. “For the month of March the fans are sending the network actual baseballs with the hashtags #KeepHerInTheGame and #RenewPitch on them. In April and May, we will be trending special hashtags about the show,” Kelci explained.
Looks like this fight is going into extra innings.
Want to help Pitch get renewed? Check out The Pitch Street Team’s official Twitter and Tumblr for details!
Here are a more shows in danger of cancellation that deserve at least another season.
Small Screen Girl
I am an unabashed pop culture and TV-aholic with no plans to ever seek treatment. Explore this blog and see just how deep my obsession goes.